According to the Oxford Dictionary kindness means: to treat somebody with kindness and consideration.
Kindness can be really rewarding, whether you are being kind to someone or they are being kind to you, it can make you feel great. Practicing kindness helps you become happier and more compassionate towards others. Being kind to others has been known to help boost our own immune system, slow down ageing, elevate our self esteem and improve blood pressure.
Not only is the act of kindness beneficial to the person being kind but it is also beneficial to the person receiving the kindness.
“In a randomised controlled trial of patients with irritable bowel syndrome, patients who were treated by practitioners who were warm, listened actively, and expressed compassion for their condition experienced less pain, less severe symptoms and greater health improvement than other patients in the study.” Dignity Health.
The act of kindness has a positive effect on everyone who witnesses the act which in turn improves their mood and makes them more likely to be kind to others throughout their day. One small act of kindness can have a domino effect and improve the day for lots of others.
It’s easy to feel lonely and forgotten when you are older but by showing each patient or resident respect and compassion through simple acts of kindness can help them feel appreciated and valued. Be friendly and polite, even if there are communication issues, don’t get frustrated as this can quickly trigger feelings of anger and exasperation. Stay respectful and understanding and take things slow and you will walk away knowing you’ve made someone feel valued.
When you talk to an elderly person you may assume they don’t know what you’re talking about or they won’t understand but give them a chance. Don’t avoid having conversations with them and if needs be make the conversation a topic you know they will be able to contribute to. Ask them about their day and themselves. This makes people feel connected and involved and like someone cares.
If you want to spread more kindness, read the below facts from Random Acts of Kindness on the benefits that being kind can have.